Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Review: "Adoptive Personality" (Cassandra Scearce)

Eve Matthews's story begins in the least likely way ... as her abusive father and enabler mother die in a terrible fire that Eve herself started.

Quite deliberately.

Innocent enough and a good enough actress that the authorities don't suspect her of wrongdoing, the teenager is shuttled from one foster family to another without success. Then a safe deposit box that had belonged to her parents falls into her possession, revealing secrets she never imagined about her life and where she came from.

From that moment, her goal to survive isn't enough. Now, she wants revenge against those who set her up for misery, and she'll do anything it takes to gain independence and control.

Adoptive Personality, by Cassandra Scearce, is a difficult-to-classify novel. Its genre includes elements of coming-of-age, erotica, psychological suspense, and perhaps even New Adult. My response to the story was similar to one someone might have when driving past a horrific car accident: the scene shocks and frightens you, but nonetheless draws your total attention.

In the same way, Scearce's work is riveting.

Eve represents every woman or child who has ever been helpless or felt hopeless in the face of sexual, physical, emotional, and/or psychological abuse at the hands of an authority figure who should have been trustworthy and loving. She is a difficult character to like, a classic unlikable protagonist, for her ruthlessness, cunning, and bloodthirsty, uncaring vengeful tendencies.

Still, even as Eve's actions become more and more twisted as she fights --- not to exorcise the darkness inside her, but to embrace and even exploit it against others --- it's impossible not to sympathize with her. At her core, she's a broken, lonely child, frightened of those who could take advantage of her, and lashing out against any threat, however real or perceived.

A future edition of the work would benefit from a close proofread for consistency and to catch the occasional typos that tend to draw the reader out of an otherwise fascinating story.

Here is a work that will undoubtedly be memorable to its readers, whether for the discomfort and shock or for the startling clarity of its content.

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Author: Cassandra Scearce
Title: Adoptive Personality

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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